Built using artificial intelligence technologies, the Chinese Ernie Bot has received recognition from an expert audience. Thanks to this, shares of Baidu, the company responsible for developing the product, rose 15% in Hong Kong on Friday morning after falling 6.4%, caused by a not-so-successful presentation of the service without a “live” demonstration of its capabilities.
The company has announced that only select users can access the bot via invitation codes. As more people got access to the development, there were also positive reviews. Largely due to this, Baidu shares rose in price on the stock exchange. According to Citigroup experts, Ernie Bot is not a perfect product, but coped with the answers to complex and even absurd questions.
Those who have already tried Ernie’s capabilities in action emphasize that the bot has advantages in some areas, yielding to its competitor ChatGPT in others. According to experts, it is better at translating from English to Chinese, but worse at translating from Chinese to English and writing code. In Ernie’s comparison with Bing, Microsoft’s GPT-4-based search engine showed some superiority—unlike Microsoft’s solution, Baidu’s bot was unable to contextualize previous questions in a conversation.
An important advantage of Ernie Bot is the ability to generate not only text, but also images, audio and even video.
Although the new AI product is not perfect, the company is launching it because there is market demand, according to Baidu founder and CEO Robin Li. Baidu plans to integrate Ernie Bot into all of its businesses, starting with its search engine, China’s largest. The technology is also planned to be integrated into the Xiaodu smart speaker, the Apollo autonomous driving module and the iQiyi video platform. Other Chinese IT giants Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings have also joined the race with Baidu, intending to offer their own alternatives to Ernie Bot and ChatGPT to the market.
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